Latin American festival has successful inauguralFor those who missed out on this year’s first Latin American Cinema festival, there is no need for despair. According to the organizers there will be an even wider selection of movies next year. This year’s festival took place at the Seoul Art Cinema from November 10 - 16. Seven films from six countries ― Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico and Venezuela ― were selected and all had political themes. Through these films, said a representative of the festival, the embassies hoped for Korea to develop a better understanding of Latin American culture.
On the final night of the festival, about 50 people saw the closing film, “Digna, until the Last Breath” directed by Felipe Cazals of Mexico. The film is a documentary about Digna Ochoa Placido, a human rights activist who died in mysterious circumstances in 2001 in Mexico City. Ambassadors from Latin American countries attended the screening and cocktail reception that followed.
“Latin American films have increased popularity and importance all over the world,” said the Argentinian ambassador, Alfredo Alcorta. “Many of the most effective films were produced in early 2000, just as there was an economic crisis in our country. You can see our political and economic situations through these films.”
A highlight of the festival was a powerful movie from Venezuela, “El Caracaza,” directed by Roman Chalbaud. It dramatizes the events of February 27, 1989 in Caracas. A protest against rising bus ticket prices sparked a rebellion which resulted in a violent confrontation with the government of Carlos Andres Perez. El Caracaza is a powerful drama about a critical moment in Venezuela’s turbulent history.
The film from Costa Rica was “Password,” which told the story of a 12-year-old girl who meets the leader of a prostitution ring through an Internet chat room. This film was awarded the Goya Prize as the Best Foreign Movie in Spanish in 2004.
For more information about the films and plans for next year’s festival, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Irene Lam